Thursday, June 27, 2013

Color-blocked Iris

My color-blocked iris shorts.

On Monday night I finished a pair of Iris shorts. I love them. I really am starting to feel like I've turned a corner in my sewing and I am starting to get better-and-better results. My once holly-hobby finishings are becoming polished, and my sewing confidence is rising.

Front view of Iris shorts

Back view of Iris shorts

I decided to take a risk this time and do a fun color-blocked version. I'm so glad I trusted my instinct because they turned out so Me.

My seams are bound with bias tape - I love how it adds a hidden pop of color!

I've been teaching myself to sew using online tutorials and different sewing books - so I don't always know the best ways of doing things. One thing I learned from my new Pattern Making Primer - is how to pin fabric together. I used to start on one end, with the pins, and then just keep pinning till I reached the other end. Many times I would end up with extra fabric at the end that didn't match up. I was probably stretching the fabric. My new book taught me to pin each end first, then to pin all the notches on the pattern, and finally to evenly pin the rest. It seems so simple, but to someone without basic sewing knowledge it was so helpful. All of my seams matched up and I didn't have any fabric left over at the end of the seam. Yippee!

We took pictures again at Maquoketa Caves State Park. It is so beautiful there, especially now with all the plants growing - it is just lush. Monday was a crazy day though, weather-wise. I started driving home from work and saw a fast moving shelf cloud coming right towards me. I have never seen anything like it before. All of the sudden my car was shaking from the force of the wind and I had to slow down to keep my car on the road. I turned around and went back to work to wait out the storm. It passed by very quickly because of the speed of the wind. When we went to the caves that night, water was rushing through them and you could hear the water roar as you walked down towards the cave. We stayed out of the caves, the sound alone was exhilarating enough.

I thought it would be pretty to take a photo with me walking out of the plants.

Before and after the wood nettle attack!

I thought a picture of me walking through the rich-saturated green plants would be really pretty.  Immediately when I tried to push the plants aside, they stung me! It was a very sharp pain. A quick google image search revealed to me that the offending plant was a Wood Nettle. I am very familiar with its cousin, the Stinging Nettle, but hadn't seen this variety before. I sure know it now :/

Plight of the Wood Nettle

I survived to take another photo  :)

These shorts are so comfy, I plan to wear them all summer. I have a couple more sewing projects on my plate. I recently purchased the Colette Hawthorn pattern and I am super excited about it. I will be taking part in the sew along. How about you? I have some really fun fabric, from Home Ec. in Iowa City, that I plan to use. I also want to start practicing making my own patterns, from what I'm learning in The Pattern Making Primer. It sounds crazy, but I might start trying to design my wedding dress. I can't find a pattern that matches my vision and my vision is really simple, so I want to try it! It will be fun  :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lavender Blue

Our pretty soaps

On Saturday I had a lady's craft night with two of my friends. We didn't know what to make at first so we took a trip to Hobby Lobby and roamed the isles for awhile. We came across the soaps and thought it looked easy and fun - it was!

We bought soap suspension formulas which made it really easy. You just melt down the suspension formula in the microwave and then add any oils, butters, color, etc. you want. Next you pour your soap into a mould and let it dry. We are all graphic designers, so we each designed cute little tags while enjoying wine and a movie!

I named my goat's milk soap Lavender Blue after the song. It is loaded with almond oil, lavender buds, lavender oil, orange zest, and honey. Beth flavored her shea butter soap with honey, almond, and vanilla - it smells delicious. Alana's goat's milk soap contains lemon verbena oil and fresh lemon zest. We each made three of our own and traded with each other. They turned out so cute!

Yesterday I finished a pair of color blocked Iris shorts. Josh and I went to Maquoketa Caves to take pictures. It had rained all day, so when you walked down into the caves all you could hear was a loud rush of water. Muddy water, that looked like chocolate milk, pooled and crashed through the caves. It was really cool to see. Check in soon for the pics!

Sneak peek of my color blocked Iris shorts!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Pattern Making Purchase

On Tuesday I made an impulse purchase of The Pattern Making Primer without checking any reviews online for the best pattern making books. I was in Barnes and Noble for 2 hours (waiting while my car was being worked on) and had plenty of time to peruse many books. At one point I  was walking around with 5 books in my hands. It was great  :)

I've been wanting to take some pattern making classes, but unfortunately I haven't found any in my area. This should be a great start until I can take classes. Personally I think the book is very useful and will be helpful in many areas of my sewing. Some parts seem a little vague - I like craft books that explain why they are doing what they are doing in extreme detail. They were probably trying to keep it simple - it does have "Primer" in the title. Overall it seems like a great introduction to pattern making. After I am done with this book I will probably be more ready for a more in depth guide to pattern making.

I've been interested in making my own patterns ever since I started sewing. To have the freedom to create whatever I can imagine just sounds wonderful. I know it will take a lot of time and hard work to get to that point, but I love sewing and it will be a fun and enriching journey. As corny as this sounds, I really do mean it.

This is just  a preliminary review, I will fill you all in once I have gotten further into my pattern making journey! What pattern making books do you all recommend? I am open to getting more  :)